DTLA: Dinner at Chinchikurin Hiroshima Okonomiyaki
I love when new places pop up in Little Tokyo. Recently I noticed huge lines around Chinchikurin, a new okonomiyaki spot.
I first had okonomiyaki more than 25 years ago. It’s a layered Japanese dish that’s often called Japanese pizza or omelette. When I first had it, my then boyfriend who was obsessed with finding the best version of this (and takoyaki) so he dragged me all over Southern California. I never saw the appeal of it as most versions were full of sauce (I’m a sauce minimalist).
Then I tried Chinchikurin’s version and I actually really liked it as you got to control the sauce and Japanese mayo ratio as they have squeeze bottles on the table. I mixed up the sauces sort of like what I do with tartare and ketchup for fish and chips (the only time I eat ketchup, by the way!).
We ordered their signature chinchikuriyaki which features ground beef and the loaded kaisen which has seafood. The other okonomiyaki dishes have pork. You get layers of meat, cabbage, noodles grilled at the main grill and then brought to your personal grill. I wished they cooked it tableside but I appreciated the grill that kept our food warm. There are miniture spatulas so you can serve yourself easily.
You also get to choose if you want your noodles soft or crispy. When I first posted the photos on my instagram (@theminty), someone commented he had never seen it with noodles before. Apparently this is the Hiroshima style. All the okonomiyaki I’ve had in the past have always had noodles. We got the seafood one with soft noodles and the signature with crispy noodles. I liked both but probably would stick with soft noodles.
As for the takoyaki, Chinchikurin did have the octopus balls available. But like sauce, I’m a bread and breading minimalist so I skipped these. Perhaps I’ll try next time.
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